In the movie, “Liar, Liar” (which I did not enjoy!), Jim Carrey plays a role in which he is not only unable to tall a lie, but is so compulsively honest that he is unable to withhold his opinions. Life would be so much easier and more pleasant if everyone practised the former, but it is the latter that gets people into trouble.
The Bible asks us to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15), which requires us to exercise love when telling the truth, as well as to actually speak the truth. Love “does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:5) and is elsewhere defined in the Bible in terms of consideration for others. Love affects how we say what we say.
To speak the truth, though, is not just to refrain from telling lies. It means being honest enough to say what needs to be said. When we value a relationship, we care enough to confront a person who we feel is hurting us or others or even themselves. We speak up about problems out of relationship with others as an act of love and we speak in a loving way.
To withhold the truth is not necessarily dishonest (though it can be) and sometimes feels like a caring act. It is probably helpful to ask, though, whether doing so is better for the person concerned, or whether it is perhaps just convenient for us! Few people like having difficult conversations, but when these are held with humility and respect, they come in a spirit of mutual concern so that we could easily receive such a conversation from others, too. Such conversations enrich our relationships and therefore our lives and can help to grow our emotional maturity and develop our leadership acumen.